Dental staff burning out 'to a point of no return,' dentist says

Staffing shortages are one of the biggest challenges dentistry is up against, and with those hurdles come burnout.

Rajdeep Randhawa, DDS, of Innovative Dentistry with two locations in New Jersey, connected with Becker's to discuss the dental trends he hopes will disappear in 2023.

Editor's note: Response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Dr. Rajdeep Randhawa: The major trend that needs to be left behind is the shortage of trained employees, including the dental hygienists, dental assistants and other support staff both onsite and offsite that is needed to run all high-volume, high-stress offices, including the private equity-supported DSOs. This needs a major effort that is not visible. Corporate dentistry is burning out dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and other support staff on a daily basis to a point of no return, causing real damage to their whole support network while boldly claiming work-life balance in their elaborate organizations, whose goal is to extract a decent amount of profit for themselves, their private equity and other investors. This is all happening when the so-called guardians of the dental profession like the ADA, AGD, all the dental policymakers and academia are watching the show.

The trend of corporate dentistry to expect a lot from their employees, and then paying them a fraction of their production after working long hours, has to be corrected starting in 2023. Otherwise once the thousands of staff and dentists in the corporate dentistry offices give negative feedback to their colleagues and juniors who are still in the dental hygiene and dental assisting schools, they will have a big problem hiring all the human resources they need to run their profitable enterprises to the satisfaction of their management and investors.

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